Why do dogs get hiccups?


Quick Answer

Dogs get hiccups when they eat or drink too quickly, because they swallow extra air when consuming food or water hastily. They also get hiccups when food irritates their stomach. Emotions sometimes also give dogs the hiccups.

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Full Answer

Dogs get hiccups the same way humans do. The muscles responsible for controlling a dog's diaphragm spontaneously contract when the animal gets hiccups. Hiccups sometimes help dogs by allowing the animals to eliminate stomach gas. They also alleviate stomach inflammation and restore a temporary loss of coordination that occurs in the nerves that manage the diaphragm.

Stress, fatigue and excitement are the typical emotions that cause dogs to have hiccups. Most of the time, excited dogs experience reverse hiccups, wherein the animals take successive loud, uncontrollable breaths through the nose. A usual sign that a dog is having reverse hiccups is when the animal attempts to remove mucus from its sinuses. Recurring hiccups may indicate a severe condition, such as asthma and pneumonia, so it’s essential to take the animal to a veterinarian if it suffers persistent hiccups.

Hiccups are more common in puppies than adult dogs. Owners are advised to change the diet of their pets if their dogs often experience hiccups after eating. This way, owners can determine if a particular food is the source of the hiccup.

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